SAN DIEGO (AP) – Canelo Álvarez has chosen the next series of challenges for himself atop the boxing world.
And as usual for the Mexican pound-for-pound superstar, he’s charting a path with his legacy in mind. The undisputed super middleweight world champion will move up to light heavyweight for the second time on May 7 to take on WBA champion Dmitry Bivol (19-0, 11 KOs) in Las Vegas.
If Álvarez (57-1-2, 39 KOs) wins, and if Gennady Golovkin beats Ryota Murata in Japan in April, Álvarez and Golovkin will complete their highly entertaining trilogy in the late summer or early fall.
“For me, it’s to continue to make history, right?” Álvarez said yesterday as he opened promotion of his showdown with Bivol, slated for T-Mobile Arena. “I like the idea to go to 175 and fight (Bivol), the second-best fighter in that division, the champion. That’s a good challenge for me.”
Álvarez will go back down to 168 pounds to fight Golovkin, who battled him to a draw in their first bout before Álvarez got a narrow decision in the second matchup.
Álvarez had been notably reluctant to accept a third fight with the Kazakh middleweight star, claiming a personal grudge against him, but streaming service DAZN has been eager for Álvarez to take the most marketable bout possible for both fighters.
“He’s set the bar,” said Eddie Hearn, one of Álvarez’s promoters. “Normally the excuse for big stars is, ‘They only fight twice a year.’ Well, he’s just fought four times. I do think other stars ought to be more active, and he’s setting the example.”
Bivol has his own concerns as a Russian athlete put in a painful position by the invasion of Ukraine. Bivol was born in Kyrgyzstan, but his parents moved to St Petersburg when he was 11 years old. His wife, children and family are still in Russia while he prepares to train for this bout in the United States.
“I have a lot of friends in Ukraine,” Bivol said. “I have a lot of friends in Russia. My family is in Russia. I have a lot of friends everywhere, and I wish them only peace and only the best.
It’s really sad for me. Every day I wake up and read the news and I hope it will stop.”